Mumbai culture: Wikis


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Ganesh festival

A resident of Mumbai is called a Mumbaikar. People prefer to stay close to a railway station for easy access to the metropolis. Many city-dwellers lead a fast-paced life with very little time for other activities owing to a significant amount of time spent on daily commuting. Mumbai is known to be one of the most liberal and cosmopolitan cities of India, with the city embracing many concepts which would be taboo in other cities.



The official language of the city is Marathi and is the mother-tongue of 42 % of the population. However, due to a large number of immigrants coming to the city, Mumbai has become a melting pot of various parts of India. This has resulted in a local dialect, Bambaiya Hindi. It reflects a blending of the different people in the city. Bollywood movies have portrayed the language often.


Vada Pavs.jpg

The metropolis has its own local roadside fast food consisting of vada pavs and bhelpuri. South Indian and Chinese food is also very popular in the city. Other exotic foods to the city range from Lebanese, Korean, Thai, Italian and Mexican. Other than Chinese and South Indian cuisines, Mughalai, Punjabi, Mālvani and Continental are also popular.

Mumbai is also the home to some of the prominent and oldest restaurants in India. Delhi Darbar, Sindhudurg, Highway Gomantak, Samrat, Vitthal Bhelwala, Mahesh Lunch Home, Kailas Parbat, Adarsh and others are some of the oldest restaurants in the city

Tea is the most popular beverage followed by coffee. There are numerous tea stalls in almost all roads and corners catering to this drink. Other popular drinks include fruit juices and coconut water. Irani cafés are an important part of Mumbai's cosmopolitan heritage.


The music of Mumbai varies in a big way. The Marathi koli songs, which was the original music of the city is still heard in many coastal areas in its original form and even in repacked pop/party remix forms. The large number of migrants have also brought their own unique tastes in cuisine, music, films and literature, both Indian and international. Bollywood music is the most popular type heard in the city played by many of the city's shops, taxis and establishments. Apart from that, Indi-pop, Marathi,and Hindi music, Indian classical music, rock and international pop music all have their patrons and fans in the city.

English music too has a sizable following and the city's local English rock base has grown considerably having their own bands. International music has seen a sudden surge in the fan following in the city and the state. International artistes like Beyoncé Knowles, Bryan Adams, Iron Maiden, Eminem and Enrique Iglesias are extremely popular here and sometimes outsell the Bollywood albums. The rock/metal industry is highly active and is based in Mumbai and Pune. Independence Rock, popularly known as I-Rock in Mumbai and Pune Woodstock of Pune are two of the major rock festivals of the Mumbai-Poona rock corcuit where many Mumbai rock bands play.


Many Mumbai residents celebrate Western and Indian celebrations and festivals. Festivals and celebrations are observed by residents of all communities and religions. Diwali, Holi, Christmas, Navratri, Good Friday, Id, Dussera, Moharram, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja and Maha Shivratri are some of the most popular festivals in the city. Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most major festivals that is celebrated in the city with great fervour. This festival involves the placing of an idol of Lord Ganesha in the house for either 1 1/2, 3,5,7 or 11 days after which it is immersed in the ocean after a colourful and noisy parade. This festival was started by Bal Gangadhar Tilak as a means of unifying all the people. This is primarily celebrated by Maharashtrians but almost all Mumbaikars participate in one way or another. The city holds an annual gay pride parade on in the middle of Summer.[1]


In 2004, Mumbai received three heritage conservation awards from the UNESCO. The Marine Drive is home to some of the finest buildings of the art deco style, which flourished in the 1920s and 1930s. During the British era, the Indo-Saracenic architecture was the official architecture of the city. Many Indo-Gothic monuments also line South MumbaiChhatrapati Shivaji Terminus; BMC building, Gateway of India are some of this style.

Mumbai also has unique housing structures known as Chawl ('chaali' in Marathi). These are the remanants of the once booming cotton mills which provided job opportunities and led to migration of masses to Mumbai of nearby rural masses and also from rest of the country. Chawls still occupy a large portion of Mumbai residential area. The unique culture of Mumbai is largely due to these Chawls which had very less living space in terms of square footage and forced youngsters to spend time outside in common corridors built specifically to address the problem.


Mumbai is the birthplace of Indian cinema with the oldest film shot in the country in 1896 in the Kala Ghoda area. A large number of cinemas, including an IMAX dome theatre, catering to mainstream Marathi, Bollywood and Hollywood films dot the city. The city contains some excellent old Movie Theatres like Plaza, New Empire and New Excelsior. Of late, due to taxation policies of the State Government, it has become more profitable to operate Multiplexes and so, many such movie theatres are making way for new developments or interior overhauls. A recent example of this is Sterling Theatre at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

The city is also home to legendary film studios, some of the best in South Asia. The Film City in Goregaon is the most popular. Other legendary studios like Raj Kapoor's R.K. Studios, Filmistan, Shashadhar Mukherjee's Filmalaya and V Shantaram's Rajkamal Studio have been privy to many critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies.

Theatres and Art Galleries

Mumbai also hosts various plays and cultural performances, and some of the more prominent theatres are Prithvi Theatre at Juhu, Dinanath Natyagruha at Vile Parle, Shanmukhananda Hall at Matunga, Prabhodankar Thackeray Theatre at Borivali, Rang Sharda at Bandra and the various theatres at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point.

There are also two public art galleries, The Jehangir Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Modern Art and a museum, The Prince of Wales Museum in South Mumbai. The Asiatic Society of Bombay is the oldest public library in the city built in 1833.

The commercial art galleries are mostly located in the Colaba and Fort area of downtown Mumbai. The best known and most established are, in no particular order, Chemould Prescott Road, Pundole, Guild, Sakshi, Mirchandani+Steinrucke, Chatterjee & Lal, and Project 88.


  1. ^ Indian Cities See First Ever Gay Pride Parades, The Bryant Park Project, National Public Radio (NPR), June 30, 2008, access date June 30, 2008

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